Dressage Horse
 

Mirrored Dysfunction In Horse & Rider

A horse and rider will influence, or mirror, each other in structural alignment and imbalances in their bodies. In riding, the seat is the foundation for stability of the rider, and initiation of movement in the horse. If the riders seat bones are uneven in the saddle, it is causing the pelvis and spine to tilt. These alignment issues will result in uneven pressure applied to the horse, causing him to bend and lift his back asymmetrically and consistently step under, creating torsion in his body. Over time, his fascia will restrict and predispose him to chronic strain, injury, and lead to training and performance difficulties.

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Uneven Seat Pressure Due To Rider's Pelvic Imbalance

This riders right pelvic bone was tilted forward which created poor contact with the seat. Her left pelvic bone was tilted backward, driving the ischial tuberosity or sit bone down into the seat creating excessive contact (1).

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Horse And Rider Mirror Each Other In Structural Alignment and Dysfunctions

The riders pelvic imbalance also rotated the femur creating uneven pressure applied to the horse(2, 3). The misalignment hindered communication between the horse and rider and created biomechanical compensation patterns that predisposed them both to chronic strain and injury.

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Fascial Restrictions Lead to Chronic Strain, Decreased Performance, and Injury

For this particular horse and rider, this imbalance lead to difficulty executing right turns with precision and a loss of speed and power during performance.

The rider had been suffering from mild low back and shoulder pain for many years. The horse eventually began to favored his right front leg. The veterinarian and farrier were not able to determine the cause or correct the problem.  Myofascial Release is able to correct the imbalance in both horse and rider.